at someone's heels

(redirected from hot on someone's heels)

at (one's) heels

1. Following close behind someone, often in an annoying way. I'm a preschool teacher, so I've had toddlers at my heels all day. The interior designer can't get any work done with your puppy at her heels!
2. Close to overtaking a fellow competitor. The leading candidate should be concerned about the underdog at his heels. If she does poorly on this exam, she may lose the title of valedictorian to one of the students at her heels.
See also: heel

at someone's heels

Also, on someone's heels. Immediately behind, in close pursuit. This idiom is used both literally, as in Jean's dog was always at her heels, and figuratively, as in Although his company dominated the technology, he always felt that his competitors were on his heels . This idiom appeared in the 14th-century romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The expression is sometimes intensified as hard on someone's heels or hot on someone's heels . Also see on the heels of.
See also: heel